I did it!

Now that I’ve eaten, I can tell you all about my Thanksgiving.  We chose to start our own family tradition, and stay home.  My parents were both great about it, and very understanding.  My dh didn’t tell his parents until the last minute, so there were some hard feelings, I think.  I really hate that! 

I’m sort of a holiday perfectionist.  I want everything to BE perfect.  Of course, that only sets me up for disappointment.  I should know that by now.  But the day started off good.  I slept in, and then was able to watch about half of the parade before I started cooking.  I had helpers in the kitchen, and that was fun.  I had to let go of the control, and let them do their own thing.  Brooke made a wonderful pumpkin, chocolate cheesecake, and a different tasting banana salad.  Zach made a yummy pumpkin pie dip, and we ate that with shortbread cookies.  I had made deviled eggs the night before, so I started the green beans with ham, and the potatoes.  I put the mashed potatoes in the crock pot on warm for the rest of the day, and that was so easy.  I put together my grandma’s dressing, so it was ready to go in when the turkey came out.  Zach and I tackled the turkey into a roasting pan, and removed the “contents of the bag”.  I’ve never cooked a whole turkey before, so I had several different recipes that I was following, and sort of made a combination all on my own.  I patted it dry, stuck my hand between the skin of the breast, and then put butter in that space.  I then rubbed it down with olive oil, and added rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper.  I put stalks of turkey under the turkey, several around it, and a few stalks inside it.  I also cut up two large onions in chunks, carrots, and whole heads of garlic.  I place those around the turkey as well.  I stuck a few inside the cavity, with more rosemary and thyme.  I began the roasting at 425 degrees for 35 minutes, until the skin was a golden brown.  Then I lowered the temp to 350, and loosely placed foil over the the turkey.  I cooked it for about 3 more hours, and when the temp was perfect, removed it to rest.  I then started the dressing, and sweet potato casserole.  The noodles and gravy were started then as well.  Everything was done about an hour after it was supposed to be, so we were all very hungry.  And it was all very good.  I’m pretty sure that my grandma does something very secretive with her dressing though, because I have made it twice now, and it doesn’t even compare. 

For my tablescape, I went outside and collected some pretty red, yellow, and brown leaves.  We put the gold tablecloth on the table, and a pretty autumn cloth napkin in the center of the table.  I placed the leaves on that, and put a votive on each corner.  The turkey platter went over the leaves, and at each end of the platter was a small clementine.  (To look like a pumpkin…)  Yeah, so I’m crazy. 

We ate off of the china, and drank our iced tea from crystal goblets.  It was a very formal affair!  Oh, and I almost forgot the bags.  On each plate there was a small bag tied with a gold ribbon.  Inside were 5 kernels of corn, and beside the plate was the Legend of the Five Kernels, typed on cardstock.  I found that idea on the web, and the kids really liked it.  I’ll do it again next year. 

Everyone helped clear the table, and I had to HANDWASH the china (really didn’t think that one through!).  Along with the homemade desserts, we had a pumpkin pie and pecan pie.  Boy were we stuffed!  Aside from Zach and I both having a meltdown simultaneously, and sitting in the middle of the floor crying, I think it all went well.  Did I mention that Matthew spilled his iced tea two different times?  Once it went on the tablecloth and Zach’s legs, and the other time just the tablecloth again.  But it’s just a tablecloth, and it can be washed.  I didn’t freak out about it, and he was so cute wanting to clink glasses with Zach. 
By the grace of God, we started a new family tradition, and it was good.  Many thanks were given.  And then we went to bed.  Because that’s a lot of work!

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